by Adelaide Kari – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Trek Leader with Adventure Kokoda, Charlie Lynn, has questioned the legitimacy of claims made by two tourists who allege they were attacked and stripped naked by villagers along the Kokoda Track on January 11.
According to a report published in British newspaper, The Sun, Matthew Iovane and Michelle Clemens were attacked by “cannibals” and forced to flee, barefoot, to a nearby village for safety.
Lynn, however, believes that the incident could very well be nothing more than a publicity stunt.
“They had casual clothing, they had no food. They had no guide, no map. They wanted something to happen,” Lynn said.
He added that if you were to walk barefoot along the track, as claimed by the pair, their feet would have been severely injured.
“That is 15.5km that they would have walked in bare feet. Their feet would have been absolutely lacerated,” he said.
Minister for Tourism, Justin Tkatchenko, said that while the incident in itself was sad, Iovane’s dramatisation of events is unfortunate.
“There is a lot of questions to be asked, a lot of questions to be answered,” Tkatchenko said.